Killer Core Exercises!

back pain

3 Exercise’s to Bulletproof Your Back Against

Back Pain! 

Health Warning!!!

Reading this article may prevent you from experiencing back pain. Back Pain

Low back pain is the leading cause of altered activity and time spent away from work through much of the world, not too mention the economic burden. It’s painful, effects your mood, alters your sleep patterns and worst of all keeps you from doing the things you love to do. Be that spending time on the golf course, playing with your kids, or simply getting out of bed pain free.

Here are our favourite 3 exercises to bulletproof your lower back to ensure you stay out of the treatment room, and more time time enjoying your life with doing the things you love!

Before we start, we need to learn HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR CORE. This is a phrase we often hear. But some of us, are still left wondering HOW exactly do I do that.  The easiest and simple way is to

  • try and  draw your belly button in towards your spine and up towards your ribcage,
  • Another simple way to brace – Imagine you are going to prepare for someone about the punch you in the tummy. This will certainly activate your abs, and deeper core muscles. 

It’s these small deeper muscles that also contribute to the core that we need to focus on.

STIR THE POT:

A lot has been talked about in regards to the benefits of maintaining a strong “Core”. There is certainly a strong argument  FOR having a stiff core in preventing low back injury while you are lifting weights, BUT it’s certainly not the be all and end all. Your back pain will not magically improve once you get a strong core, it’s just not that simple. That being said, we do believe it is beneficial.

Stir the pot is one of the safer actives to start engaging your core. This exercise was popularised by Dr. Stuart McGill. And while it may look easy, its actually quite tough!  (https://www.backfitpro.com/about-us/)

HOW TO:

You may have to start this exercise on your knee’s, and once you have gained some confidence and strength,  progress to your toes.

  • Neutral or straight spine and hips
  • Elbows braced on stability ball
  • Maintain a straight body while the arms gently create small circles as if stirring a pot. Your body should remain STILL.

This is MUCH harder than it looks, but trust me, your ‘core” will fire! And in time, watch your back pain melt away.

Common Errors:

  • Don’t move your head up or down. Movement of the head will have an impact on your spinal alignment
  • Don’t let the lower back sag. Make sure to maintain a strong contraction through the Glutes.
  • Don’t let the shoulders ride up and forward. They should be down and back for optimal stabilisation.
  • Don’t allow the knees to bend. Contracting the quads, should take pressure off the low back.

Aim for 5 circles each way, rest and repeat! As you get stronger you can slowly increase time and reps!

NOTE: This is a TOUGH exercise. SLOW circles is the key!

Dead Bug

This is an excellent way to strengthen your abs and core without putting strain on your lower back. If you’ve ever seen a turtle or a bug struggling to get back onto its feet – you’ll appreciate this exercise. This is a great way to activate your supportive muscles of the low back whilst minimising the impact this has on your back. An nice easy position to adopt if you do have back pain. 

HOW TO Perform The Dead Bug:

  • Lie flat on your back with your arms reaching toward the ceiling.
  • Bring your knees up so they are at 90’s and maintain your shoulder blades on the ground. 
  • It is ESSENTIAL to maintain your lower back FLAT on the floor – you shouldn’t be able to see daylight or fit your hand  between your back and the floor.
  • Slowly lower your right arm and left leg at the same time- extending until they are both – just hovering above the floor. Pause here for 1 second – then return to the start position.
  • Repeat using the Opposite arm and leg.

An advanced version of this exercise is to place a Stability  ball on your tummy. Squeezing the ball between your hands and your knee’s. Perform the same movement as above – whilst maintaining the squeeze with the opposite arm and leg. 

 

Common Errors which may result in back pain:

  • Arching the back or loosing the contraction of your abdominals and core
  • Reduce the range of motion of your arm or leg if you are struggling to maintain your low back position.

Planks:

Planking is a staple when we talk about activation of the core and stability. It works everything from your abdominals, lower back, shoulders, and Glutes. And  makes lifting weights and moving through life easier, while also reducing the chance of injury to areas such as our lower back and hips. So when it comes to planks there are NO EXCUSES. This exercise can be done almost anywhere. Requires no fancy equipment, and will have a great impact on your low back, Gluts, Abs and Shoulders. BUT.. it must be performed properly. Without correct form you risk injuring your low back, wrist and shoulders. This activation exercise is sensational for almost anyone. Those who swing a golf club, lift kids all day or even sit at the office desk. Ensuring your have a good understanding on how to engage these supportive is the key.

How do you keep good form to avoid back pain?

  •  Shoulders have to be completely in line with the elbows. Too far forward and your shoulders can become compromised..
  • Feet are about hip-width apart.
  • Maintain a flat back with hip down so its all inline.

A mirror is great to check your position – we don’t want hips too high or too low. This may also comprise the low back and cause low back pain. Engage your gluts, Finally engage your  “core” we often hear this phrase – but HOW do I do this. The easiest and simple way is to try and  draw your belly button in towards your spine and up towards your ribcage, Another simple way to brace – is to prepare for someone about the punch you in the tummy. This will certainly activate your abs – But its those small deeper muscles that also contribute to the core that we need to focus on.

Side Plank:

From plank position, press your right hand into a mat and turn your body so your weight is on the outer edge of your right foot; stack your left foot on top. Imagine you have a big beach ball under your right side; press your body up and away from the ball, extending your left arm and fingers pointed toward the sky. Squeeze your abs, Gluts and hold this position for 60 seconds. If you see you body dropping towards the floor – allow yourself 1 correction. If you are unable to maintain form, Stop and try the other side.

Common errors which may result in back pain:

  • If you’re feeling the tension and burn in your arms and lower back, instead of your abs and Glutes, your form is wrong!
  • Sag your hips toward the floor.
  • Push your butt in the air.
  • Drop your head toward the floor.

Obviously, you need a flat back; make sure the hips are down so that everything is level. If you find that your shoulders are fatiguing faster than everything else, it means your hips are too high and all the pressure is sitting in those shoulders. Imagine a spear is right underneath your belly button and you have to hold that up.

At Equilibrium Sports and Spinal clinic we thrive on helping Glen Iris and Malvern locals who need a little help with their back pain and core activation. Our Osteopaths service Malvern, Glen Iris, Ashburton, Toorak, South Yarra, Hawthorn and Caulfield. Let us help guide you to better health and wellbeing, ensuring you have a strong core, a health spine and minimal back pain.

Any Questions?

Feel free to email us at i[email protected] .We are also more than happy to chat via our blue Drift Chat box in the bottom right hand corner. 

hip mobility

Ask Our Osteo

Equilibrium Sports and Spinal Clinic Logo Glen Iris
BOOK-MOCK-UP

Download your FREE BACK PAIN BIBLE

Your comprehensive guide that covers everything from the basics of back pain to tips for keeping your spine healthy.

Striving to make you feel better today, than you were yesterday!

Book online now to find a time that works for you. 

Equilibrium Sports and Spinal Clinic Logo Glen Iris
BOOK-MOCK-UP

Download your FREE BACK PAIN BIBLE

You’re one click away from obtaining your Back Pain Bible. We have also sent you a copy through your email.

Download E-book
Equilibrium Sports and Spinal Clinic Logo Glen Iris
BOOK-MOCK-UP

Download your FREE BACK PAIN BIBLE

Your comprehensive guide that covers everything from the basics of back pain to tips for keeping your spine healthy.